I don't know how it is in your house - but in MY home, the person who has the very most influence on the atmosphere is ME.
You've heard the saying - 'if mom isn't happy, nobody's happy'..... that is SO true! And when you've all been grazing on homemade cookies for days.... well.... you know what sugar does to you.
Mind you. I am NOT taking responsibility for my family's attitude..... BUT I will take responsibility for my own - and, in honesty, MY attitude has more influence than I'd like. I can use that power for good though - IF I handle it properly!
So - what do I do to keep my emotions in hand?
First - Eat real food! Breakfast, protein, fruits and vegetables!
I find that the emphasis on all the candy and cookies is NOT helpful. I don't even like having it around. That said - fun treats are part of the way we celebrate - so I want to be part of it. I need to be in control though - so I will choose what I eat. I will give some treats to that little nagging kid inside me - you know - the one that is saying... "I did all the work, I made all this stuff.. I DESERVE to eat whatever I want."
THAT kid - I will remind her that what I deserve is to feel good - physically and emotionally - and an excess of non-nutritive treats won't give that to me or anybody else!
* I will make sure that cut veggies and healthy dip are readily available
* I will package the treats in small containers to help regulate portions
* I will remember (and remind my group) that veggies and fruits and dips and cheese and crackers are PARTY food! They constitute a meal AND a party at the same time. ( I do this a LOT when I don't feel like cooking - we have a PARTY.. LOL!)
* I will make an extra effort to eat fruits and veggies and breakfast. I am better off for a couple of days eating REAL food AND treats... than to eat treats alone. I DESERVE to feel good!
Second - Drink water or herbal tea
Here we go - same scenario..... eggnog, sugary hot chocolate, alcohol in various forms... drinks that are TREATS! I LOVE Treat Drinks! I have this teen inside that says.."I am tired, I am frustrated, I love these people but man, they are hard to deal with. I DESERVE a little rum and coke or an extra cup of coffee with extra caramel creamer." And maybe I DO - but I also DESERVE to feel healthy!
Water helps both to hydrate and flush toxins from your body...so if I am going to take in more toxins & chemicals.... well.. it follows that more water will help! And that is without all the knowledge we have about water helping with skin tone, headaches, fatigue, etc!
* I will make sure I drink a full glass of water for every non-hydrating liquid I take in.
* I will limit and be honest with myself about what and how much non-hydrating liquid I take in
Third - Rest!
Okay, I hear you now... rest?? Are you kidding? Seriously, think about WHAT is disturbing your sleep? Crazy relatives? Economic issues? Stress about work, number of gifts, kids' desires you can't fill, the broken water faucet..... and on and on and on? And how can I REST with all this going on?
There's that kid inside.... the one that is saying, "I don't want to miss anything" But inside me, there is also that prideful mom who is saying, "I need to be in the middle of everything so I can fix whatever needs fixing." And I want to say - lovingly - to both of them, "It's not all about YOU." It's okay for the festivities to swirl around without you... and you can't fix everything anyway. All you can do a lot of the time is agonize over your own inadequacy and pass around a plate of cookies. It's probably better that your group learn to deal with each other and hunt for their treats anyway. Working for it and sneaking it always feels better :-)
* I will go to bed on time and also try to catch some 20-min 'lie-downs during the day. (Don't laugh - if you have time enough to be reading on the internet today, then you have time enough to lie down for a few minutes)
* I will be careful how many chemical-laden drinks I indulge in.. (NO coffee (okay ONE) after noon)
* I will take a 48 hour sabbatical about worrying about things I cannot change. No more stressing over bills or dirty carpets or things I forgot. I will ONLY deal with things I CAN change (and I will add 'change quickly and easily' to that)
* I will try to CATCH myself when I start worrying about someone else's problems. I can do that by sympathizing, saying a quick prayer and let God take over. He's better at fixing stuff anyway... all I have to do is LOVE and LISTEN and keep my OWN STORY to myself. (It's not about me!)
Fourth - Move!
I know you are not exercising - it's too busy and you are LAST on your list. So, take a walk..... That kid inside who doesn't want to make the effort will have a fine time once you get her outside.
Do a few squats and bicep curls in the kitchen.... just grab whatever is handy and use it to move your arms (your baby will love it :-) and your milk jug doesn't care) You DESERVE a rest, you say? You just told me you didn't have TIME to rest.... Take that little negative person and challenge her.... 10 push-ups off the counter for every piece of chocolate.... make it a game! Make an after-dinner (or cookie orgy) walk part of your NEW holiday tradition!
You DESERVE to feel healthy and a little movement will help you!
And, lastly - Be nice to yourself!
There is no perfect Christmas like there are no perfect people. It's a couple of emotional days and you want to have the best time possible! You are dealing with whatever you are dealing with - and that is exacerbated with holiday expectations. And everyone you are with is in the same boat. Be calm. Don't worry about calories right now. Eat a carrot and keep a calm smile on your face. Your family will follow your lead (if not this year, I promise you will see a difference by NEXT year IF you are patient :-)